July 30 (SeeNews) - A consortium led by China Gezhouba Group Company Limited is due to start building a 722 million euro ($852 million) unit at Bosnia's Tuzla thermal power plant (TPP) in August when the first batch of workers from Beijing are expected to arrive, Bosnian media reported.
Fifteen Chinese engineers are expected to land in Bosnia on August 10, to be followed by 1,000 workers who be arriving in Tuzla in smaller groups, news daily Dnevni Avaz reported on Wednesday, quoting the head of investment at Bosnian power utility Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH), Senad Salkic, as saying.
The construction was initially planned to begin in March, but was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.
A consortium of three Bosnian civil engineering companies - ITC Zenica, Prijedorputevi and Integral Inzenjering, started preparatory works for the construction of the new unit in November.
Last month, EPBiH said it has paid upfront 108.4 million euro from its own funds to China Gezhouba, making effective their agreement for the construction of the new 450 MW Unit 7 at Tuzla TPP.
The deadline for the completion of construction works is 56 months.
The 722 million euro project will be financed with the proceeds of a loan from China's Ex-Im Bank.
In August 2018, the government of Bosnia's Federation entity, which owns EPBiH, said it will provide a guarantee for a 614 million euro Ex-Im Bank loan, which will cover 85% of the project cost.
Unit 7 is expected to produce 2,756 GWh of electricity per year.
At present, the Tuzla plant has an installed capacity of 732 MW, producing some 3,600 GWh of electricity on average per year and consuming 3.3 million tonnes of coal.
The Federation is one of two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.